Questions, answers about commercial air service at Paine Field

Updated Aug. 9, 2018

Snohomish County’s Paine Field Airport (PAE) was built in 1936 and has had a critical role both regionally and nationally as the manufacturing center for Boeing’s widebody aircraft, including the 787, 777, 767, and 747. It is also the site of the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour, as well as other significant aerospace attractions.  Paine Field is also home to a large and vibrant general aviation community. In late 2018 or early 2019, commercial air service is anticipated to begin.  Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.

When will I be able to fly from Paine Field Airport?
The terminal building is under construction and is expected to be completed in October 2018. Commercial flights should begin later in 2018 or early in 2019, once the airlines secure final regulatory approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Which airlines are flying out of Paine Field Airport?
Three airlines plan to fly from Paine Field: Alaska, United, and Southwest Airlines. 

When can I buy tickets?
This decision is up to the individual airlines.

Where will I be able to fly from Paine Field Airport?
As of now, Alaska and United Airlines have plans for nine destinations:
  • Denver
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Orange County, CA
  • Phoenix
  • Portland
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose, CA
Southwest Airlines has not yet announced its destinations. Stay tuned!

How does Paine Field compare to SeaTac Airport?

For perspective, Seattle Tacoma International is the 31st busiest airport in the world and the ninth busiest in the United States, handling approximately 600 departures per day. The Paine Field terminal will accommodate a total of 24 departures per day.

How big is the terminal?

The terminal building will be approximately 30,000 square feet with two gates. The state-of-the-art terminal has been designed with a Pacific Northwest style and is intended to feel more like a lounge than a traditional airport. The building will have a number of amenities that are not typically seen at commercial terminals, including high-speed internet, power at every seat and valet parking services, to name a few.  You can expect to hear more about the terminal features and amenities over the coming months.

Where can I park?
When commercial air service starts, the terminal will offer valet parking, paid parking, ride share services and other convenient ways for people to get to and from Paine Field Airport.

Will there be an economic benefit for our community from commercial air service?
Today, Paine Field has an annual impact of more than $20 billion on our economy, primarily due to the aerospace companies that are based at or near there. Commercial air service will give our region an additional transportation asset, providing significant benefits to the travelling public and making our region more attractive for investors and companies looking to relocate.

Will there be noise impacts from commercial air service and who controls flight paths anyway?
With the addition of commercial air service at Paine Field and the expected 24 departures per day, we expect a 6 percent increase in take offs and landings. Since the airlines have committed to using the Embraer E-175 and Boeing 737 planes, two of the quieter commercial planes in service, we don’t expect neighbors will notice a change. The Federal Aviation Administration controls all aircraft in the United States from takeoff to touch down. As such, the FAA will control all flight paths into and out of Paine Field.  However, the airport is not aware of any planned changes to the existing flight patterns.

Who will run the terminal?
While Snohomish County owns Paine Field, we have signed an innovative lease with Propeller Airports, a private company, to design, build, and operate the terminal. This public/private partnership will provide a vital public service for those who live in the region, while also insuring taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill.

Why are you starting commercial service?
The FAA requires airports built using federal funds to allow for commercial air service. Therefore, Snohomish County is obligated to allow for commercial service. The county believes regularly scheduled flights from Paine Field will be good for the economy, generating jobs across the region, and a great service to people and businesses.